In the late 1980’s when I was still doing a great deal of cartooning and comic art, someone – but I can’t recall who – suggested that I send in some of my politcal cartoons to the broadsheet newspapers to see if they were interested. However, as I was well aware, most newspapers had long-established relationships with their main leader cartoon artists, so I knew that the chances of dislodging any of them were very slim.
But there were two factors that gave me a little hope.
I knew that the Daily and Sunday Telegraphs had failed to replace Nicholas Garland with another leader cartoonist since his leaving the papers in 1986 and I also had the moral backing of the ex-Thatcher home secretary, Kenneth Baker, whom it so happened was /is an avid collector of political cartoons, and who’d seen and very much liked my work, and expressed as much in writing.
So I decided to give myself a project of doing a leader-style cartoon for the main news story of each day of a single week and then send them in to the Telegraph.
Sadly, nothing came of the enterprise. The Telegraph people were very polite and told me that they had just given the post to a new artist on a permanent basis, but that I should try again, should the position ever become vacant in the future. As rejections went, it was one of the better ones I ever experienced in all my creative incarnations, but I never did get around to re-submitting news-cartoon artwork to the Telegraph, or any other publication.
Unfortunately, I seem to have misplaced four of the seven cartoons I did that week (it might be that I sent them to Kenneth Baker as a thank you, but I’m not certain), so I can only reproduce three of them here.
If anyone can remember the stories or the period I was covering with these I’d be most grateful for a reminder. For what it’s worth, looking at them now, I think I did a mean Leon Brittan – and not many people can say that!